ClientExec and Modernbill are two very different packages, right down to the base structure under the hood... CE is written much more simplistically and doesn't have nearly the feature base (or capability) as Modernbill. I don't mean this as a slight, rather to contrast the structure of the two packages.
So yes, CE is more simple, straightforward, and is very easy-to-use.
For a simple business with limited needs, that will work fine. At some point most hosts get to the point where they need a system which has the advanced features like Modernbill can offer. Modernbill is able to keep a client's balance on account, for example, so as they submit partial or over-payments, Modernbill can keep track of what they have owed and paid and provide them with an up-to-date total on what is actually due. Modernbill can also do coupons, discounts, and service credits -- the kind of things that usually come after-the-fact -- so you don't have to go back and create a special "package" and switch your clients over to it, delete their invoices, re-run billing.. whatever. In this case Modernbill's complexity actually makes it possible for a host to be more responsive to individual customer's needs with less net work.
However... getting from here to there that is the challenge. Modernbill will be considerably more work to install, set up and configure, at the outset, than ClientExec. You will invest a lot of time in getting it set up, completely configured, packages entered, clients entered, etc.... it's not a several day, or even 2-3 week project. Set aside a couple of months to get it fully set up and tweaked exactly how you like. If your expectations are realistic you won't get as frustrated with it or the lengthy, involved set-up process.
Modernbill also has many little quirks and stuff which you will find as they come along... like what date to enter in which box, and which boxes to leave blank, in a customer's record. But it's pretty easy to sort out, you'll figure it out quickly and have it up & running successfully.
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I would suggest WHM Autopilot or Lpanel, both easy to configure and use. ModernBill has too many functions, and performs the same things as Lpanel, except Lpanel was smart enough to make everything easy to use. I will be honest and say I buy a leased version of MB every 4 or so months then cancel, so I can transfer clients to MB from LP, but I get fed up with it each time.
Hopefully WHMAP's V3 will come out stable soon enough and I'll be over their.
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I use WHM Autopilot, but I don't like its user's management and its invoice settings are very poor. Maybe they will fixed in their so anounced new version but at this moment, I'm considering a change to modernbill.
modernbill is the way to go. I have right now and it works very well. The oreder form they give is configured with it so you order the pacakge and it puts you into the system. As soon as the payment is recieved it will batch and activate the account.
It can also suspend the account automatically when it realises there was no payment made.